This place is AWESOME because it offers tranquility with a jaw-dropping beach.
Portugal might be the standard destination for families to visit, but Pine Cliffs Luxury Resort is anything but standard.
Nestled within 179 acres of private grounds, you’ll instantly feel at home. The setting is spectacular – a developed golf course with luscious gardens and a river running straight through it. Not to mention the golden stretch of Falesia Beach it sits on. It’s the perfect celebration of the great outdoors, making it a welcoming playground for children to discover.
On-site dining is impressive, but you’re never too far to venture out and try the local delights. That’s if you can bring yourself to leave the comforts that surround you. With spacious rooms, plenty of pools and awe-inspiring clifftops, it manages to offer luxury without pretention. No wonder it’s such a hit with families.
What We Love Best
The outdoor terrace Mirador Champagne Bar is something special. Surprisingly child-friendly, this is the place to go at sunset, as you quaff wine as the sun goes down.
Don’t be alarmed, but you’re quite literally hanging off a clifftop. This of course makes for jaw-dropping views and plenty of questions from little ones, like “Why are the cliffs orange inside?” – thankfully the wine helps!
Best for Families with Pre-School Age Children
Winner of Europe’s Best Family Resort in the World Travel Awards (2016),
Pine Cliffs is a hit with children, especially pre-school+. This is the right age to still find the on-site train ridiculously exciting, as well as appreciate the many pools to bathe in. Plus, there’s plenty of other children of this age to make friends with by the pool. Just be sure to bring a bucket-load of water-friendly toys, as it’s all about sharing and caring. Families are friendly, with a high proportion from the UK and Ireland, thanks to Faro’s well connected airport.
In the unlikely event that you get bored in one spot, there’s plenty of others to uncover, with seven pools to take your pick from. This means you’re never fighting for space.
Not to be missed, the kids play area is perfectly shaded, has a pirate ship to crawl over and mini cars for diddy drivers.
While the property is accessible throughout, there are some drawbacks for parents with buggies. Being on a clifftop, you need to take a lift down to the beach. From here it’s a long walk in the unforgiving sun, with stairs and steps to negotiate along the way. It’s entirely worth it for the glorious beach, and excellent beachside restaurant (a must-visit), but it’s quite a schlep for anyone with children under three.
There’s plenty of attractions to keep you entertained on-site, as well as excellent facilities, these include:
- WiFi throughout
- Tennis courts
- Cliff top bar
- XX restaurants
- Gym, steam and sauna
- 9-hole golf course
Notably for families, there’s also:
- The resort train
- Kids play area
- Kids Club (6 months – 8 years) and a Junior club (8-13 years)
- A heated child’s pool
- A children’s dining menu
- The Annabel Croft Tennis Academy
The resort can be a little confusing for newbies since there’s five levels of comfort to choose from, with 217 rooms and suites.
The Pine Cliffs residence offers affordable luxury without compromising on style, while the Pine Cliffs Garden offers a little more space. Give yourself an upgrade and stay in the Luxury Collection for a step-up in terms of luxury and facilities. The Ocean Suites are equally as impressive, and ideal for large families, with kitchenettes and lounge areas making it a home-from-home.
Just keep in mind that some of the two-storey suites found in the Pine Cliffs village are not ideal for children, with staircases and no stair gates. When in doubt, drop the hotel an email, they are helpful and quick to respond.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, the pools and outdoor areas remain accessible for all.
What to Eat
Food at Pine Cliffs is very good. There’s just about enough options to keep you going for a few days without getting bored.
Piri Piri is one of the best. This outdoor restaurant serves up steaks and more, for when you want a special night out. It’s welcoming to kids, but logistically not the best for buggy-laden parents.
There’s a few other options within the hotel confines, serving up pizzas, pastas and wraps – all perfectly sharable. Or, if you’re feel conscious in your bikini, Zest is just the answer. You’ll feel like Gwyneth Paltrow with their healthy juices, and clean menu, even though the kids won’t appreciate it at all.
There’s also buffets (day and night) for when you’re feeling hungry.
As you’d expect there’s a dedicated kid’s menu throughout the resort, serving up classic dishes that delight. But, there’s no variation in these and by day three everyone’s over it.
Many guests head out of the resort at night, and there’s a few standard restaurants within walking distance too. Nothing inspiring, but it’s a nice change of scenery and kinder on the wallet.
What to Do (around the local area – anything good nearby)
There’s very little to do in and around Pine Cliffs itself. However, a quick taxi ride brings you to Vilamoura. This is more of a ‘bucket and spade’ resort, exactly what you might expect from a coastal retreat.
From the tranquillity of Pine Cliffs, it’s a jolt back to civilisation, with amusements, tourists and locals all jostling for space on the sidewalk. But it’s also a fun place to visit, with a beautiful beach and marina worthy of a walk around. Go in time for dinner, and you’ll be impressed with the variety of restaurants, most catering to children. If all else fails, there’s always McDonalds!
For best value, if you’re travelling with grandparents, book a 3-bedroom ocean suite. This sleeps up to seven, including an infant.
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